Episode 4120 (9/24/2008)

“This message will self-destruct but only if you have one of those new exploding TVs. This is The Colbert Report!”

Hey Bail!: “Tonight, the Wall Street bailout: Should we give Henry Paulson unchecked power or merely unfettered omnipotence”

The Dog Shouterer: “Then I name my Alpha Dog of the Week. He’s so impressive your leg will want to hump him”

West Toast: “And my guest is Professor Cornel West, author of Hope on a Tightrope. I’ll introduce him to Rage on a Soundstage!”


Cornel WestHope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom

In closing: “That’s it for the Report, everybody. Goodnight.”

Video Highlight:
Cornel West
Cornel West believes we’re at a moment where we need courage, compassion and hope.

R.A.P.S. – Click here to talk about the episode!

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

More Video Highlights, courtesy of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report website


  • Nation, we are on the brink of total financial extinction. Now granted, it is the same brink we were on yesterday but today it is much, much brinkier.
  • I for one cannot think anything more Presidential than suspending your Presidential campaign.
  • The President demands suspending all kinds of things. Habeas Corpus, Gitmo prisoners,
  • Remember McCain once famously said he would rather lose an election than lose a war. Now he’s gone the extra step of saying he would rather lose an election than win an election.
  • The Colbert Report is now officially suspended…[opens beer bottle and drinks]……Country First.
  • I am hereby suspending the suspension of my show, the rarely attempted double suspension.
  • Nation, I am shocked by this financial crisis. Almost as shocked as I was when I discovered how actual little gold you get when you melt down an Emmy
  • Did you hear that? The real blame lies with future administrations! Future administrations! How dare they will have!
  • No surprise that Secretary Paulson knows so much about the future. He is the same species as my financial advisor, Gorlock.
  • Why $700 billion exactly when these days you can purchase a bank for three pounds of ground chuck and an old bicycle wheel?
  • Art is an excellent analogy ’cause I think a lot of people are looking at our economy and saying “My five year old could’ve done that”
  • Suze Orman Advising
    • Suze: Sherry!!
    • Stephen: Hi Suze, it’s acually pronounced Stephen.
    • Suze: Hi Sherry, what do you wanna buy?
    • Stephen: I wanna buy a $700 Billion Bailout for the financial sector of my country
    • Suze: You have to have a whole lotta shiny financial diamonds in your vault for me to approve THAT one. Show me the money!
    • Stephen: Well, I have a gross national product of about 14 and a half trillion.
    • Suze: Good so far!
    • Stephen: And I have a national debt of about 11 and a half trillion, give or take a trillion.
    • Suze: Not so great so far!
    • Stephen: And I am funding a war.
    • Suze: Uh-huh
    • Stephen: Well, actually two wars.
    • Suze: Uh-huh
    • Stephen: And five secret wars.
    • Suze: That’s your debt? That’s your debt? Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that you are not working right now?
    • Stephen: I suspended my show!!
    • Suze: I don’t think so! You are denied! You can’t afford it and don’t you dare, don’t you dare buy it now or it will be one of the biggest mistakes you have ever made.
  • Suze Orman says no and she should understand this crazy mess because she is clearly insane.
  • Interview with Joe Nocera
    • Nocera: They’re gonna buy mortgage-back securites. Do you know what they are?
    • Stephen: [Pathetically] No.
    • Nocera: If you cut enough taxes, you don’t have any money
    • Stephen: I thought if you cut taxes you got more money.
    • Nocera: That was the old days. Now it’s the today-day and you can’t do that anymore.
    • Stephen: Because we’ve run out of money and we have these giant debts and you can’t believe you don’t have these debts.
    • Nocera: I can.
    • Stephen: Well, whose fault is it?
    • Nocera: It’s the future’s fault!
  • If you watched television’s biggest night on Sunday you know I won an Emmy. And if you didn’t watch, I won 12 Emmys.
  • This award goes to a dog whose balls swing like Glenn Miller.
  • [Bill Bennett] appeared on the Today Show on Thursday to address questions of Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be Vice President. He had to. Let’s face it, she’s hardly qualified to address those questions herself.
  • [George Will and David Brooks] These two Poindexters are nothin’ but over-educated eggheads. And nobody knows more better how overrated education is than former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett.
  • Back in the Reagan administration Bennett pioneered the school reform program “Just Say No to Nouns” Plus, he helped reduce government beauracracy with his 22 letter alphabet. It takes some real sack to X out X.
  • And you know you can trust Bennett on the subject of elitist intellectuals. He went to Williams College, got his law degree from Harvard University, and has a Ph.D. in Philosophy. But he’s a regular Joe. I believe he wrote his thesis on the works of Larry the Nietzschian Uber-Mensch.
  • And for an Ivy League intellectual to slam intellectualism takes balls. Balls so big, they get their own dunce caps [PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE, THANK GOD]
  • My guest tonight is the author of “Hope on a Tightrope” which I hope is a tell-all book about Obama’s early days in a circus.
  • Interview with Cornel West
    • Stephen: It’s called “Hope on a Tightrope” Now I believe that’s true because it rhymes, okay?
    • West: Because you see the rhyme and the syncopation is a species of historical memory of a people who very much like the country now but indeed when an economic system of greed, a culture of indifference towards the weak and a politics of fear to justify.
    • Stephen: Don’t patronize me, sir. I say that every morning when I roll out of bed.
    • Stephen:
    • West: No, but this is the reason why leadership is so important. We need a Lincoln. We need somebody that can inspire…
    • Stephen: I tried to run for President, sir. They kicked me off.
    • Stephen: You became famous for, among other things, a book called Race Matters. Now that racism is over, what do you do with your time? Do you garden? I mean, how do you fill the hours?
    • West: I wish racism was over.
    • Stephen: Racism is over for some people. I don’t even see race. I have evolved beyond that.
    • West: When you see me, what do you see?
    • Stephen: I see a big bushy beard and hair. I have no idea what race you are. People tell me I’m white and I believe them because I have a late-night talk show. But what race are you, sir?
    • West: My dear brother, I am a free black man and I love being a human being in a black body. It’s a beautiful thing…..Every human being is in body so when I see you, I see a white brother. You’re a human being in a European-like body. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a gift of God.
    • Stephen: Thank you for leaving out the pear-shaped
    • West: If that’s true, even if I accepted that, who better to fix it? Who knows fires better than an arsonist, sir?
    • Stephen: You have said that you are slightly disappointed that he has run away from his race. What do you mean by that? Not that I don’t agree with you. I don’t know why he’s not standing up there everyday and saying “I am the son of a white woman from Kansas!”
    • Stephen: Now you sing too, don’t you? You rap, right?
    • West: I do but a white bluesman like Bruce Springsteen. I love Jay-Z and some Jill Scott helps. [Editor’s Note: BREAKING NEWS: A black man who’s not Clarence Clemons loves Bruce Springsteen]
    • Stephen: Bling-bling?
    • West: Bling-bling, the bling-bling. It’s that empty stuff that people grab…
    • Stephen: By the way, if anyone wants to give me all their empty stuff, go right ahead.
    • West: The freedom in love and the love in freedom. That makes the difference. You don’t wanna be free without the love.
    • Stephen: …I don’t entirely follow.
  • If the mere thought of saying goodbye has triggered withdrawl symptoms just bite down on a leather strap and log on to the brand new ColbertNation.com
  • You can enjoy every minute of every Colbert Report ever recorded all the way back to when it was hosted by Soupy Sales. I’ll never be as good a Colbert as he was.

Manfan Suit Report: Grey jacket, light blue shirt, blue tie with patterny stuff on it (I don’t know, I’m a man). WRISTstrong.

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